While the Honda Civic Sedan Prototype we saw last year was already a shoo-in for the production model, there’s always a chance that the brand will go against its own instincts and try to dazzle us with something that’s never coming to market. But it’s one of those “snowball in hell” kind of deals.
In addition to Honda being ultra-consistent and delivering prototypes that actually represent for-sale models, an example of the 2022 model year Civic leaked in China and we doubt the company has any intention of redoing the exterior just to surprise our market.
The vehicle you’re currently looking at will be manufactured by Dongfeng-Honda and is allegedly one of the models China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology had to take a gander at as part of the country’s approval process. We actually spied it via the Civic11Forum, which makes no mention of the government agency and has a few photos with watermarks to a website that doesn’t seem to exist. Claims that these were homologation units came from Motor 1.
Regardless, it’s the spitting image of the prototype and its more-adult (see: Accord-like) styling. While the model with the black mirror caps and spoiler could be the promised Si version (Honda said it would be a sedan), the Type R is supposed to be hatchback only. The manufacturer also made it sound as though performance variants wouldn’t debut until after the base model appeared. But we’re inclined to believe Honda isn’t making many market-exclusive trims for global products like the Civic, so our money is on the Si.
While the same might not be true for powertrains, documentation from the California Air Resources Board has indicated that the United States is supposed to see the same 1.5 and 2.0-liter motors used on the current-generation Civic. However, those engines are likely to receive a handful of updates, though affixing them to a new transmission does not appear to be among them.
Odds are good that we’ll see an official debut within the next few weeks. Honda said to expect the new Civic to take the stage this spring and we’re only a few days away from the March equinox.